Mobile App Undergoes Revamp to Prevent Sexual Violence in India

Mobile technology has become a ubiquitous element for city dwellers around the world.

So it only makes sense that many mobile applications have tweaked their aims and mission to fit a more international market. Take Circle of 6, for instance.

A mobile app created to prevent sexual violence before it happens, Circle of 6 underwent a cultural makeover in order to better help the New Delhi region of India following the widely-publicized gang rape of a young woman.

"We got involved when Google alerts for "Circle of 6" started flooding our inbox, and download numbers rose in India as Circle of 6 appeared again and again in the Indian press as a tool for Indian women to combat sexual violence," wrote the app creator Nancy Schwartzman in a Huffington Post blog.

Having an extensive background advocating sexual violence prevention amongst college students, the tech-savvy filmmaker and her colleagues at Tech for Good were prompted to delve into solving this global crisis of rape and sexual assault for the White House's Apps Against Abuse challenge. Circle of 6 was one of two apps awarded a first place prize (the other winner titled On Watch.) 

Schwartzman and the Circle of 6 team worked with the New York offices of UN Women, SayNOUnite, UN's Safe City Initiative and New Delhi based women's advocacy groups like Jagori, Lawyer's Collective and YWCA to create a Hindi version of the app, which applies directly to the region.

Additionally, the GPS functions have been user-tested to guarantee their accuracy, and the app's standard hotlines have been pre-programmed for the newly formed 24/7 women's hotline of New Delhi and the Jagori advocacy helpline, Schwartzman explained. 

As of this Tuesday, she revealed that the popular app has already had over 55,000 downloads in 26 different countries.

"We are hoping that this number will only expand as more and more people from around the world harness the Circle of 6 platform to create circles of accountability, and to aid them in fighting sexual violence in their communities," wrote Schwartzman.